World’s most expensive tea bag

28 07 2010

If you think 80 quid is a lot for a caddy with a few fancy tea bags, then you surely haven’t heard about world’s most expensive tea bag. It’s only a measly £7,500, yes, exactly. Of course it’s not expensive tea that contributes to this price tag. The bag, made by Boodles jewelers to celebrate PG Tips 75th birthday, is decorated with 280 diamonds. It is also hand-crafted and took three months to complete.

Even if you can afford it, it doesn’t look like you could drink it anyway, because that makes sense, right? Nowadays you can any item luxurious by adding some diamonds, luckily I prefer my tea non-diamond-studded.

The fancy tea bag has been used to raise money for Manchester Children’s Hospital.





Tea in Art – focus on Mary Cassatt

20 06 2010

Tea has always been an important part of daily lives and therefore also became an important theme often portrayed by artists and painter in their works. Tea is a reoccurring theme in the paintings of American impressionist Mary Cassatt (1844 – 1926). She focused a lot on the private and social lives of women in late 19th and early 20th century. Additionally a large part of her work also shows the bond between mothers and children. Cassatt was the only American woman invited to exhibit along with other great independent Impressionists.

Mary Cassatt “Five O’clock Tea” – painted in France in 1880, oil on canvas, the painting can be seen in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

Mary Cassatt “The Cup of Tea II” –  1879, the painting portrays the painter’s sister Lydia Simpson

Mary Cassatt “Lady at the Tea Table” –  1883, oil on canvas, the painting can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum in New York

Mary Cassatt “The Cup of Tea I” – 1897, pastel on tan wove paper

Mary Cassatt “Afternoon Tea Party” – 1891, drypoint, aquatint, and gold paint on laid paper, part of a 10 print series that explores the domestic activities and roles of women in the 19th century





A Teacup full of Paint

17 02 2010

There is no doubt that tea completely redefines what is ‘cool’. We can drink it, put it on our faces, stuff our pillows and spice up our pastries with it and it can even foretell our future. The list goes on and on, but one important activity that should be added to it is – we can paint with it.

Tea as a painting medium is by no means a new concept, but certainly one that’s worth paying attention to. What does this technique involve you ask? It’s as simple as brewing a strong cup of tea and paining with it on watercolor paper. Different strengths of color can be achieved by brewing a stronger or weaker tea, or using a red herbal tea instead of e.g. a black tea.

Tea is the main medium for artist Andy Brown aka. Mr.Brown, who, in a playful fashion, expresses a sense of Britishness in this artwork. He not only uses the tea liquor, but also tea bags and one of his pieces featuring Queen Elizabeth consists of a 1000 used and unused tea bags!

There are also some artworks by Zach Franzen from Portland Studios, that use very strong tea. They are the very proof that one can create beautiful things with tea.





Global Tea Events

19 12 2009

As there is a lot going on around tea, here is a list of some of the global tea events, which usually take place anually.

Europe

Festival du The – France

Asia

Hong Kong International Tea Fair – Hong Kong
International Tea Expo – China
International Tea Symposium – Moscow, Russia
International Tea Expo – Taipei, Taiwan
China Tea Expo – Beijing, China
India International Tea Festival – Guwahati, India
Da-hyang Tea Festival – Boseong, Korea
International Tea Convention & Expo – Changsha, China
Speciality Tea & Coffee Convention – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Uji Tea Festival – Kyoto, Japan
Shanghai Tea Expo – Shanghai, China
Busan International Tea & Craft Fair – Busan, Korea
Tea and Health Dubai – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

North America

World Tea Expo – Las Vegas, United States
Northwest Tea Festival – Seattle, United States
Canadian Tea & Coffee Show – Toronto, Canada
Victoria Tea Festival –  Victoria, United States
Tea Extravaganza – Chicago United States
Coffee & Tea Festival –  New York City, United States

Various Locations

Tea & Coffee World Cup





Private Garden Retreat

11 11 2009

This zen tea house is one of the commissioned projects of SuttonBeresCuller, and its part of a mid-century modern home design in in Seatlle, WA. I don’t think anyone would say no to spending hours in this cute and charming house, enjoying countless tea cups.

This house features a pair of Shoji-inspired sliding doors which reveal a playful interior of cedar planks in different colors. On top of the V-shaped roof there are growing plants. Although small and toy-like, this tea house evokes a calm and peaceful atmosphere in the spirit of zen – almost like it floats above the ground in a dreamlike fashion.

 

suttonberesculler_teahouse1

suttonberesculler_teahouse2

suttonberesculler_teahouse3





Teas bring the Christmas Spirit

4 11 2009

Strong, warming aromas, sweet scents create a peculiar atmosphere in the air, Christmas Teas have indeed gained a solid position in the world of tea blends, with their distinguished character and a set of common ingredients. Today, Holiday blends are offered by many vendors and they make a great substitute for alcoholic beverages.

Christmas Teas can be easily recognized by a spicy aroma, often a mix of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and a citrus touch of orange or lemon peels. However, nowadays vendors are more keen on moving away from these traditional ingredients, and choose a more contemporary style to create unusual flavors that will still remind us of the Christmas spirit. Dammann Freres has a Christmas series which offers some exciting and innovative flavors using such ingredients as cherry blossoms, pineapple, caramel and ginger.

Other interesting offerings are Taylors of Harrogate  Spiced CHristmas Tea which is a blend of black Chinese teas with lemon and grange peels, cinnamon and safflower petals or Apsara Winter Tea – a black tea with raisins, apple pieces, red currants, safflower petals and cloves. One thing is for sure, the options are countless and finding a favorite shouldn’t be hard.

Unlike with Indian Chai Tea, Christmas Teas should be generally enjoyed without milk, but a spoon of honey could be a great addition to enhance the flavor and add some sweetness.

Other suggestions

Stash Tea White Christmas – white tea with peppermint and ginger

Stash Tea Christmas Morning – blend of First Flish Darjeeling, Assam, Keemun and Yunnan, Formosa Oolong and southern Indian teas, with addition of jasmine

Stash Tea Christmas Eve – herbal tea with hibiscus, orange peel, rosehips, lemongrass, peppermint, star anise, ginger and cinnamon

Adagio Christmas Tea – black Ceylon tea with cinnamon, cloves and orange peel

Mariage Freres Noel Teas – a fancy selection of white, black, red and green teas

Kusmi Christmas Tea – Chinese black tea with orange, almond, vanilla and spices

Kusmi Green Christmas Tea – green tea with orange, almond, vanilla and spices





Buying tea online

23 09 2009

Buying tea from online vendors

It is important to use trustworthy and reputable sources when buying anything on the internet – the same applies to tea. If you’re careful and you know your tea facts you can find many interesting and rare teas online, that you won’t be able to get anywhere else. Here are some of the more popular places among tea drinkers!

  • O-cha – site might not look so hi-tech, but O-cha has some great teas to offer. They specialize in Japanese tea, anything from senchas to matchas. Here you can also buy kits, tea utensils and teaware, limited edition teas and organice offerings. Shipping is worldwide (from Japan), so anyone can enjoy their tea.
  • Tea Spring – here you can purchase some of the best Chinese teas, especially greens. They offer black, oolong, white, yellow, green, herbal and pu-erh tea. The website has a clean look and there are pictures off all teas, so you can see what you’re buying. The orders are shipped from China to any place in the world.
  • Adagio Teas –  Adagio is a very popular source for teas, it has a wide selection of teas from different regions – Japan, China, India, South Africa. On the list are also flavored teas, herbal, decaf and english classics and even more fun – you can create your own signature blends and name them! Your blend is then available for others to review and purchase. This site ships only to the United States but there is another site directed at European customers which you can find here.
  • TeaCuppa – this store offers a mix of Chinese and Japanese teas – pretty much all the types and additionally you can buy tea gifts, gadgets and other accessories. Shipping is worldwide!
  • Jing Tea – a UK based vendor that ships worldwide. Their website is very clean and easy to navigate, the teas here are well presented and overall it’s an enjoyable shopping experience. Here you can find great quality and rare teas from China, Japan and India. They also offer a selection of organic and fair trade teas.
  • Jing Tea Shop – this is a place worth checking out for pu-erhs, greens and oolongs from China with fresh arrivals every harvest year. They ship from China to a lot of international destinations.
  • Rishi – this company is not only an online vendor, as they also have stores and sell their products at various locations in the US. They have a truly rich offer including different varieties of Japanese green teas, Chinese tea, but even Chai, Yerba Mate and Iced teas. The majority of their offerings are organic and fair trade. Unfortunately shipping is only to the US and Canada.

Tea on Ebay

It is possible to buy tea on Ebay – two recommended stores are Yunnan Sourcing and Dragon Tea House. Yunnan Sourcing has black and oolong teas, but what they really specialize in are pu-erh cakes and good prices. They ship worldwide from China. Dragon Tea House on the other hand is a huge store offreing all kinds of Chinese teas and tea accessories. It’s worth taking a look at, because their listing is very rich and you certainly can’t say no to the prices.